Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale (2011)

Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale comes in at 5.5% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A liberal pour gave one finger of fluffy off-white head that dissipated after about a minute. This left very minimal lacing. The color is a hazy and bright honey amber. There is medium carbonation rising, which is visible closer to the sides of the glass.

Smell: This has a lot of yeast and bread notes for the smell. I also get moderately spiced pumpkin, and some light brown sugar. The spices discernible are cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste: This has caramelized pumpkin, spice, and sweetness. And all of this comes across in what my friend R-bone aptly called a “controlled fashion”. There is light toasted maltiness, and just enough spice to work with the pumpkin flavor. I think the flavors work really well in this one. The finish allows the malty notes to come through more pronounced, leaving a wheaty and slightly bitter aftertaste. This is more in the pumpkin pie style of pumpkin ales.

Feel: This is medium bodied, coating the mouth nicely with the brown sugar sweetness and malts. I was surprised by how enjoyable the feel of this beer was. The carbonation is light to medium, and appropriate.

Drinkability: This drinks very smoothly. The light brown sugar sweetness and caramelized pumpkin keep it smooth, with some carbonation giving it movement. Given the not-too-high ABV, I think this would be a good beer to have a couple of. Even so, it seems that over time the flavors get a bit dull and monotonous.

Overall: This was an enjoyable beer, and sort of a cool surprise to find. I was surprised to find it pretty well-balanced and flavorful. The flavors weren’t that unique, but were enjoyable. It was a decent beer in the pumpkin pie style of pumpkin ales. Some downsides were that the flavors were a little one-dimensional, not changing or revealing any more than what you get to start with. I think this beer is more flavorful than those of Saranac and Harpoon, but not as interesting as ones like Ichabod, Terrapin, and Elysian’s “Night Owl”. Even more, I think it drinks better than Brooklyn’s “Post Road”, and is more flavorful than Dock Street’s “Great Pumpkin”.

Overall Rating: **1/2

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